Fused: a promising molecular target for an RNAi-based strategy to manage Bt resistance in Plutella xylostella (L.)

Shi Kang, Dan Sun, Jianying Qin, Le Guo, Liuhong Zhu, Yang Bai, Qingjun Wu, Shaoli Wang, Xuguo Zhou, Zhaojiang Guo, Youjun Zhang

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8 Citations (SciVal)


Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a naturally occurring entomopathogenic soil bacterium, has been the active ingredient of sprayable Bt biopesticides for over a century. Insecticidal Bt Cry proteins are particularly well suited for use as plant-incorporated protectants in transgenic crops (Bt crops) due to their specificity against insect pests and safety for non-target organisms. The sustainability of these Bt products, however, has been challenged by the development of resistance in the field. RNA interference (RNAi), a species-specific control alternative that has been deregulated and commercialized in the USA and Canada, provides a new mode of action to complement the existing Bt products. Based on our preliminary research, we hypothesized that pyramiding/integrating Bt with RNAi can address/manage resistance issues related to Bt traits. To examine this overarching hypothesis, we (1) cloned and characterized a serine/threonine kinase gene (fused) of the Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.), a global superpest; (2) profiled Pxfused expression in Bt-resistant P. xylostella strains; and (3) investigated the involvement of Pxfused in Bt Cry1Ac resistance in P. xylostella. Pxfused expression was elevated ubiquitously in all Bt-resistant strains, and silencing of Pxfused led to larval and pupal mortality in both Cry1Ac-susceptible and -resistant strains, suggesting that Pxfused is a potential target for RNAi-based resistance management. Taken together, our results not only identify a molecular target to control a devastating lepidopteran pest, but also shed light on a novel resistance management strategy through the integration of two biotechnological techniques with distinct modes of action.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Pest Science
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFD0200900), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31630059; 31701813; 32022074), the Beijing Key Laboratory for Pest Control and Sustainable Cultivation of Vegetables and the Science and Technology Innovation Program of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS-ASTIP-IVFCAAS).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • Bacillus thuringiensis
  • Plutella xylostella
  • RNA interference
  • Resistance management
  • fused

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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